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Acclaimed actor backs People's Procession

RAM - Residents Action Movement Media release 16 September 2008

Acclaimed actor backs People's Procession

"I support the People's Procession to Parliament, calling for the removal of GST from food", says actor and youth worker Jim Moriarty (Ngati Toa, Ngati Koata, Ngati Kahungunu).

"I got into theatre as a young boy in the 1960s. In the 70s I was in television for quite some time. But always I've come from really a political position."

"I produce theatre, I direct theatre, I perform in stuff, and it's all really to do with the emancipation of people, freedom and liberation of people. That's what I'm interested in, and that's what I see in the People's Procession.

Jim Moriarty has been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to drama.

"In my work with at-risk youth, diet and lifestyle balance are important to the rehabilitation process", he added. "Too often young people's dependence on chemical and preservative-laden junk food can be traced back to their whanau's inability to afford healthy kai."

"When the equivalent litreage of Coca Cola is cheaper than milk, this is an insidious form of consumer conditioning, aimed particularly at society's most vulnerable."

"The removal of GST, hand in hand with 'Eat Well, Live Well' education will help reduce the appalling statistics of obesity, diabetes type 2, eating disorders and childhood behavioural issues that are too prevalent amongst our people, and that are a preventable burden on our health system."

RAM ­ Residents Action Movement launched a petition in April to get GST off food. So far, 20,000 people have signed.

"That number is set to jump considerably with the People's Procession to Parliament", says Grant Brookes, co-leader of RAM's candidates group and a Wellington Central candidate.

For two weeks from September 20, there will be mass signings to the petition in towns and cites the length of the North Island.

The final mass signing will be in Wellington, at the corner of Manners and Cuba Malls from 12 noon on Thursday 2 October.

"Normally in election campaigns, the grassroots are talked down to by politicians who want our votes, and then we are ignored for another three years," said Mr Brookes. "The People's Procession is a chance for us to have our own say."

Mr Moriarty says: "Middle New Zealand is over-taxed. Businesses and the rich don't pay enough. GST was brought in by the monetarists who cut taxes for those at the top. The major fallout was the social fallout."

"The disparity between the haves and the have-nots led to a marked increase in despair, violence, gangs and crime. I think the People's Procession can be part of turning that around."

The GST-off-food petition will be handed over to Maori Party MPs, the only ones in the current parliament who support the removal of tax from food, on the steps of Parliament at 12 noon on Friday 3 October.

The full itinerary of the People's Procession is printed below.

People's Procession main stopovers

KAITAIA 9am Sat 20 Sept @ Kaitaia Markets, The Warehouse carpark, Mathews Av.

KERIKERI 2pm Sat 20 Sept near corner of Kerikeri Rd & Cobham Rd.

KAIKOHE 11am Sun 21 Sept near New World supermarket, Marion Pl, next to Hau Ora O Kaikohe offices.

WHANGAREI 12 noon Tues 23 Sept in Cameron St Mall, Whangarei city centre.

TAKAPUNA 12 noon Wed 24 Sept outside Information Centre on Hurstmere Av, Takapuna shopping centre.

NEW LYNN 12 noon Thurs 25 Sept outside New Lynn library on Memorial Dve, behind Lynn Mall & off Great North Rd.

CENTRAL AUCKLAND 12 noon Fri 26 Sept in front of Aotea Square, Queen St, central city.

MANGERE 9.30am Sat 27 Sept inside the Mall, Mangere Town Centre, off Bader Dve.

HAMILTON 12 noon Sun 28 Sept at Garden Place, Victoria St.

TOKOROA 3pm Sun 28 Sept at St Marks Community House, Bridge St.

TAURANGA 12 noon Sun 28 Sept at Fraser Cove, next to The Warehouse.

ROTORUA 12 noon Mon 29 Sept at City Focus, central city.

PORIRUA 11am Tues 30 Sept under the canopy at the shopping hub.

UPPER HUTT 12 noon Wed 1 Oct outside ANZ Bank, Main St.

LOWER HUTT 12 noon Thurs 2 Oct outside Westfield Queensgate Mall, Bunny St entrance.

CENTRAL WELLINGTON 12 noon Thursday 2 Oct , corner of Cuba and Manners Malls.

HANDOVER OF PETITION TO MAORI PARTY MPs 12 noon Friday 3 Oct on the steps of Parliament.


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